How to deal with bad news on Facebook? What if it doesn’t feel right to “like” that your friend’s cat died, but writing “I’m sorry your cat died” takes too much effort?
Yesterday, at Facebook’s Compassion Research Day, engineer Dan Muiello put forth a solution to this problem. He announced that the company has been experimenting with a “sympathize” button to accompany distressing status updates.
The Huffington Post reports that the new feature would automatically replace the existing “like” button with a “sympathize” one when users tag their statuses with a negative emotion, like “sad” or “depressed.” So far, the idea hasn’t made it past the company hackathon, but Muiello says that “a lot of people were — and still are — very excited” about its potential. The more emotions we can render in button form, the better.